In Challenging Times, We Are Stronger Together

Dear Members,

We can probably all agree that this spring and summer have been seasons without comparison, as we work to navigate troubled and uncharted waters. People around the world are anxious for some good news regarding a vaccine or an effective form of COVID-19 treatment. I am confident our scientific and medical community will eventually prevail.

I want you to know how profoundly grateful I am for the America First team of volunteers and employees. Each day, they are adapting to and meeting members’ changing needs. It’s been inspiring to watch and be part of such an amazing group sharing a common purpose. In the end, we will be stronger and more fortunate as we pull together.

We are vital and secure. Despite the challenges posed by the economy and within the communities we serve, America First remains fiscally strong and in a positive position for the future. We’re dedicated to improving your well-being and simplifying your financial life.

We are moving forward. We have undertaken efforts to improve and broaden our digital capabilities, while keeping a commitment to serving you in the manner that best fits your circumstances. If you haven’t tried our mobile and online banking platforms, I encourage you to do so. The systems are robust, user-friendly & convenient, providing complete money-management capability according to your schedule. Our expansive ATM network also offers 24/7 access to funds and many can take deposits. Please visit us here, call 1-800-999-3961, or stop by a local branch to learn more about our industry-leading electronic services.

We greatly appreciate you choosing America First and look forward to a lifetime relationship.

Sincerely,

John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

 

America First Credit Union Integrates Physical Distancing Measures in Latest Branch Opening

Vineyard, Utah – August 31, 2020 – To meet the high demand of members in the fastest growing city in the U.S., America First Credit Union is opening the doors on August 31 to its newest branch in Vineyard, Utah. To encourage psychical distancing and stay a safe essential resource for the community, the new branch will be equipped with plexiglass at all teller stations and other precautions to keep members and branch staff safe. The branch will also utilize two remote tellers at our drive-up, in addition to five in-person tellers. The remote tellers allow for person-to-person interaction that many members enjoy while allowing for physical distancing. The member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution is showing off its newest branch via a virtual tour and grand opening later this week.

The 3,350 square-feet branch, located at 758 East Mill Road, Vineyard, UT, will be managed by Michelle Bohn, who has been part of the America First team for more than 27 years and has worked at 12 branch locations. She started as a student trainee while in high school at the Ogden Main Branch, has been a lead teller at in-store locations, assistant manager/manager at two locations and a market manager at four locations.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work for America First in twelve branches from Cache Valley to Utah County and our number one priority is always our members,” said Bohn, America First’s Vineyard branch manager. “We want to provide the best member experience to the Vineyard community and so we have integrated all different options into this branch to fit the various needs of each of our members. So whether you want to work with a teller or loan officer in person, utilize a virtual/remote teller so you’re still talking to a person but in an environment you’re comfortable with, or have the ease and convenience of our online and mobile options, there’s a solution for every member.”

Also available to members and the many young families, college students and recent graduates in the Vineyard community, a financial counselor will be available by appointment at the branch to be a resource for members who are looking to improve their financial literacy, manage student loans, and improve their financial security. America First team members will also be on hand to assist members with new checking/savings accounts as well as personal and business loans.

The branch is equipped with five in-person tellers and two remote tellers, five loan stations, and a drive-up ATM. The lobby will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with the drive-up opening at 9 a.m. on those days and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

In celebration of the grand opening, America First members who open a new savings account or a new checking account and deposit $25 the first two weeks of opening (Aug 31 – Sept 12) will receive $25. There will also be a chance for members to win a $500 America First Visa Card for members who visit the branch during that time.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 81 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 131 locations, and is the ninth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $13.6 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,137,648 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

Get a sweet treat from Fiiz & America First Credit Union

America First Credit Union is excited to continue their beloved Sweet Treat Fridays. They bring you delicious discounts on tasty treats on the last Friday of every month. This is only for AFCU members. You can follow their social media platforms or visit their website to learn more each month. This month America First Credit Union is teaming up with FiiZ Drinks for Sweet Treat Fridays.

On August 28th, the first 25 members per location can get one free drink by showing your America First Visa® debit/credit card at your local FiiZ. If you don’t make it in time for a free drink, members can still take get a free bump up in drink size all day when you use your AFCU Visa debit/credit card. Whether it’s your go-to FiiZ drink or you want to try something new, FiiZ has you covered with everything from sodas and desserts to fruit smoothies and salty snacks.

America First will continue to have its members covered with exclusive deals & discounts all year long. It’s their way of saying thanks for your membership. Check out their “Deals and Discounts” page online for more information.

America First Credit Union is also opening up a new branch in Vineyard. The 3,350 square-feet branch, located at 758 East Mill Road, Vineyard, UT, will be managed by Michelle Bohn, who has been part of the America First team for more than 27 years and has worked at 12 branch locations and is extremely excited to now be serving the Vineyard community.

To find out more about Sweet Treat Fridays or get more information about the new Vineyard location visit America First Credit Union now.

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Guest Commentary: Weathering Financial Storms to Preserve Our Collective Health

Rex Rollo – Executive VP / Chief Financial Officer

By Rex Rollo, Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer

In the mid-17th century, Benjamin Franklin said, “Some people are weatherwise, but most are otherwise.” Such disciplined attention to everyday events helped Mr. Franklin navigate life during stormy weather, and his sentiment illustrates that planning for the future is a key principle of long-term success. I think Ben would agree the best time to make sure you have a good umbrella is while the sun is still shining.

As we and our members have faced COVID-19’s economic fallout, America First has benefitted from preparations we’ve been making since the Great Recession, working to increase the size and strength of our reserve umbrella to temper future storms.

While the pandemic continues raging, we utilize these reserves to help those caught in the middle of the disturbance. America First has waived fees, offered short-term loans, provided payment-skipping programs and more, giving members additional time to adjust their financial situations.

Many wisely adapted to our digital channels for transactions, deposits and complete account-management needs. This has been effective in preserving staff safety by limiting branch activity and allowing visitors to keep appropriate distance. Taking advantage of government stimulus to build savings, pay loans in advance, and restructure financing has also been a wise fiscal strategy employed by our members, who are reevaluating their spending and budgets to maintain stronger positions.

At this midyear point, after enduring a full quarter of COVID-19, we are doing everything possible to build trust, just as we endeavored to do in the recession a decade ago. Earnings will naturally fall in the months ahead, as we add capital to ensure ongoing security. We are forging ahead, with yearly growth goals being met or exceeded. Prudent planning has dictated that we slow project expenditures, adjust revenue outlooks, and take cost-cutting measures. Indicators show we are seeing positive results and we’re committed to continuing these efforts.

Because of our preparation and diligence, we will weather this storm in good fashion. I believe Citizen Franklin would consider our guiding motto of people helping people to be “weatherwise” rather than “otherwise.”

Free cupcakes with America First Credit Union

During what has been a hard time for most, a little something sweet can brighten your day.

There is a partnership and event happening on July 31st called Sweet Tooth Friday, between America First Credit Union and the Sweet Tooth Fairy in Orem, Utah.

With what is one of its many efforts, America First Credit Union often looks for opportunities to partner with other business in the community to offer deals to its members.

This Friday, America First members can come into the Sweet Tooth Fairy Orem location, show their America First Visa or Debit Card, and get a free cupcake. If they are out, you can still get a 15% discount on your order.

You can try America First’s signature cupcake: vanilla marble with cream filling, Sweet Tooth Fairy signature frosting, topped with a disc of the America First logo.

If you are not a member, go to AmericaFirst.com or go to one of its locations across the state to find out how to join.

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America the Beautiful

By John B. Lund, President & Chief Executive Officer

I think it is safe to say this has not been the year any of us expected. With everything that has happened, it feels like we have had a decade’s worth of newsworthy and challenging events packed into just the last six months. Almost overnight the threat of COVID-19 transformed our routines, communities, businesses & economy, and permeated so many aspects of our lives. Concepts like social distancing, being apart together, flattening the curve, and working from home have entered our common lexicon. Civil unrest on a scale we have not seen in decades has been at the front and center of public discourse. Conversations about our shared hopes, concerns, and what freedom means to each one of us are taking place in the U.S. Capitol, our statehouses, on social media, at public gatherings, and around countless dinner tables.

Still, despite the challenges we are facing, I am optimistic about our future. Because if there is one thing our shared history has proven again and again, it is that Americans can rise together to meet any challenge, face any trial, and overcome any obstacle. We are not a perfect nation and we are relatively young by the world’s standards. But we are a nation of incredible people, innovative thinkers, and ennobling ideals. We cherish our independence and honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to safeguard it. We love our wild spaces and carry a bit of that wild, untamable spirit with us. We disagree, debate, and opine, but when life’s storms strike, we show up in droves to repair, rebuild, lift, and love. We are the product of the beautiful and ever-evolving dream of hundreds of millions, and I know of no place on earth where such a diverse collection of people is more committed to becoming better and working together to build a society in which everyone has the opportunities, resources, and encouragement they need to make the most of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Throughout almost 250 years together, we Americans have defined ourselves by the way we improve, overcome, and ultimately become stronger than we were before.

As members of America First, our unity of purpose is also deep and enduring. And as a credit union, we are driven by our passion for serving our members, and by our commitment to helping each one of them to improve their financial well-being and to withstand whatever difficult times life brings.

Thank you for your membership and loyalty. We look forward to a lifelong relationship with each of you.

Thirty-two Seniors Honored by America First Credit Union

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thirty-two Seniors Honored by America First Credit Union
$16K in Scholarships Awarded to High School Student Athletes

Riverdale, Utah – June 1, 2020 – America First Credit Union (AFCU) is recognizing 32 Utah high school senior student-athletes, awarding $16,000 in total scholarships. To date, the credit union has awarded over $76,500 in scholarships to deserving students.

Each of the students who were awarded were nominated by their school for their involvement in a sport, their 3.5 or higher-grade point average, and outstanding citizenship and community involvement.

This effort, in partnership with Utah TV stations KJZZ and KMYU’s Thursday Night Lights and Friday Night Rival program, recognized 22 Utah high school senior student-athletes each with $500 scholarships. AFCU awarded the winning students with an on-field check presentation which aired live on KJZZ and KMYU.

AFCU also partnered with KSL for their digital Game Night Live to highlight ten Utah high school student-athletes. Game Night Live students were honored with a $500 check presentation via Facebook Live.

In place of the annual ceremony, which was canceled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, KUTV will be honoring each of the student-athletes live on Talkin Sports from May 23 through June 13 and in a highlight video on Talkin Sports and on their social channels.

Thursday Night Lights and Friday Night Rivals Honorees Game Night Live Honorees
   
Eliza Balfe – Corner Canyon High School William Francom – Springville High School
Alta Tabar – Park City High School Annie Murdock – Highland High School
Caylyn Ponich – Davis High School Logan Baty – Roy High School
Kale Wakely – Jordan High School Caroline Murri – Alta High School
Tyler Easton – Corner Canyon High School Lucy Jones – Stansbury High School
Luke Johnson – Weber High School Dana Kim – Skyview High School
Sam Langi – East High School Easton Allred – Corner Canyon High School
Sidney Preator – Timpanogos High School Paulina Jimenez – East High School
MeKenna Trader – Woods Cross High School Camilla Hatch – Kearns High School
Ainzlee Enger – Herriman High School Makayla Lear – Grantsville High School
Bailey Hill – Roy High School  
Tige Voorhees – Fremont High School  
Wyatt Marx – Bingham High School  
Kai Roberts – Skyridge High School  
Hailee Oldroyd – Salem Hills High School  
Grace Poulson – Corner Canyon High School  
Sydney Neilson – Sky View High School  
Courtney Giles – American Fork High School  
Isaac Andrewsen – Riverton High School  
Jordan Falls – Alta High School  
Ashlyn Hall – Syracuse High School  
Peter Bickel – Olympus High School

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 132 locations, and is the ninth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $12.2 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,107,706 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

The FUNdamentals of Football

America First Credit Union is safely open, and has also joined the Las Vegas Raiders in presenting the “FUNdamentals of Football,” a new video series that gets you ready for the NFL on the Strip!

For more information, click here. In the meantime, nominate a GIVE BACK recipient by clicking here

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How America First Credit Union can help you financially

Nicole Cypers joined Good Things Utah to discuss some of the realities of the current economy and address some of the misconceptions about you and your money.

There’s been a rumor circulating that missed payments on mortgages won’t impact credit scores. Missed payments can still have an effect on your credit score, so make sure to get into contact with an America First Credit Union representative if you’re having any trouble making payments or expect a delay. If you encounter financial difficulties, they encourage you to contact an America First member service representative to discuss your specific situation.

As a service to their members during the current COVID-19 situation, they are offering up to two months of skipped payments and the standard $25 fee will be waived.

America First was one of the first financial institutions to implement online banking. Since that time, they’ve continuously improved their services in order to give their members fast access to their accounts. America First offers a variety of ways to manage your finances without having to visit a physical branch location.

America First Credit Union is committed to protecting our common physical and financial well-being. The health of their members and their employee team is their number one priority.

Visit America First for the latest information and updates.

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An Unyielding Dedication to Serving and Improving Your Financial Health

Dear Members,

On behalf of the America First staff and volunteer team, I am honored to deliver an accounting of your credit union’s achievements in 2019. We greatly appreciate the support, loyalty, and trust of our membership. As an organization, we endeavor daily to ensure relevant and affordable financial services are provided in a convenient, professional, and personal manner.

We celebrated our 80th anniversary on March 16, 2019 and closed the year as the nation’s 9th most substantial credit union in terms of assets; America First ranked 5th in number of members. I often wonder what the 59 founders would think of our progression and success. Although much has changed since 1939, one constant, core purpose remains: improving the members’ financial well-being.

By every measurement, it was an outstanding 12 months. More importantly, our commitment to America First’s long-term health and vitality is strongly evident. With this in mind, we continue focusing on three pillars forming the nucleus of our strategy, budget, and operation: 1. Lifetime member relationships, 2. Financial strength & integrity, and 3. Strategic, balanced growth.

Lifetime Relationships

Our mission is to serve the membership’s needs, help simplify lives, and enhance financial wellness. Indicators suggest we’re doing a good job—our loyalty, retention, product utilization, and net promoter benchmarks are among the best in the U.S. This positive differentiation of products, designed according to each life stage, is essential to develop and maintain productive, long-term relationships. Among our priorities are:

Financial Literacy

  • Free financial seminars & training opportunities
  • Free financial counseling services
  • Financial literacy instruction at local schools
  • Free credit scores and programs to assist members who are rebuilding
  • Interactive web-based learning tools
  • Social media tips, updates, and financial education

Award-Winning 24/7 Digital and Electronic Services

  • Comprehensive online banking and web portal
  • Go-anywhere mobile banking, including deposits & bill pay
  • Apple, Android, Samsung Pay
  • No-fee ATM access
  • Zelle® person-to-person transfers

Transactions, Deposits & Your Security

  • Free identity theft recovery and monitoring services for credit cardholders
  • Free Card Guard® mobile app
  • Free direct deposits
  • Youth and student savings
  • Share, money market, individual retirement and health savings accounts
  • Low-rate Visa® options, including rewards & cash back
  • Business and commercial deposit, transaction accounts
  • Merchant account services

Lending

  • #1 auto lender in our region
  • RV loans
  • Auto/RV research and valuation tools
  • Convenient on-site dealer financing
  • Mortgage, real estate, home equity & construction loans
  • Lines of credit and overdraft protection
  • Business, commercial, and SBA loans
  • Personal and consolidation loans

Complete Financial Needs

  • Trust services
  • Investments
  • Insurance
  • And more
Financial Strength & Integrity

Each year, we hear of businesses that are disrupted, fail, quit, are acquired, or otherwise disappear. Often, this is caused by inadequate fiscal reserves, loss of discipline, and/or lack of integrity. I am pleased to report that America First is safe, sound, and independently rated among the best and strongest financial institutions in the country; our commitment to ethical standards and integrity is unyielding.

Accordingly, our net worth equaled $1.279 billion at year’s end, up 11.82% from 2018 and closing at 10.92%. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), our federal regulator, considers 7% well-capitalized. Our strong net-worth position engenders health during the ups and downs of economic cycles. America First additionally achieved positive/unqualified exam results from our regulator and an independent external auditor.

Credit union assets increased 13.47% to $11.713 billion. Yearly net income exceeded $135 million, producing a healthy 1.21% return on assets. America First’s loan portfolio grew by 11.09% to $9.358 billion, while deposits were 13.76% higher to finish at $10.343 billion. The 90.48% loan/deposit ratio demonstrates prudent use of funds while allowing for adequate liquidity. The overall loan portfolio mix is diversified, has minimal interest rate risk, and reflects appropriate credit risk levels. Allowance for loan loss reserves are more than adequate to absorb any portfolio deficiencies.

Our top priority is protecting members’ personal data, information, resources, and accounts. Internal and external resources review, upgrade, and monitor IT systems. America First does not sell member information.

Strategic and Balanced Growth

Growth is an essential element of sustainability. Entering new markets, welcoming new members, developing new services, and broadening existing relationships is important to diversifying. Growth for its sake alone is problematic, but balanced advancement is vital.

America First’s field of membership is well-diversified geographically and socioeconomically; we expect stable growth prospects going forward. For the year, membership rose by 8.79% to nearly 1.1 million. We are the region’s #1 credit union but, more significantly, we’ve developed deep and positive primary account relationships.

New branches opened in West Valley, Utah; Rexburg, Idaho; and Las Vegas, Nevada, with more planned for 2020. After careful consideration, two locations were closed. In addition, a merger with a small Provo, Utah-based credit union was completed. As 2019 ended, we had 131 branches with locations in Utah, Nevada, Arizona & Idaho.

To protect our relevance in an evolving marketplace, we’re active in legislative and community affairs on local, state, and national levels. We believe it’s imperative to be an outstanding corporate citizen, encourage financial wellness, and lend support to organizations working for the greater good. To that end, the America First Charitable Foundation provides resources, service, and expertise to food drives, Warm the Soles of Kids programs, the 100% For Kids Credit Union Education Foundation, Souper Bowl of Caring, and many other deserving causes. Our employees and volunteers donate countless hours of personal time and effort to service outreach.

Once again, I express my utmost appreciation to all the dedicated individuals who are devoted to continual improvement. I am grateful for the members who support and promote our credit union. America First is well-positioned for a bright future.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

John B. Lund, President and CEO